By Shawn McKenzie 07/16/2002
There have been a precious few series this summer that I have felt was worthy of being a series that could run during the regular season, when the networks run their supposed "quality" shows (okay, they do tend to be better during the regular season!) Some of those notable exceptions have been NBC's "Law & Order: Crime & Punishment," USA's "The Dead Zone," FOX's "American Idol: The Search for a Superstar," and Showtime's "Odyssey 5." Well, you can add USA's new series "Monk" to that list.
"Monk" is about Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub), a former San Francisco homicide detective who lost his job when he developed an obsessive-compulsive disorder following the murder of his wife. He now works as a private consultant, someone who is brought in to look for details missed by other detectives. He utilizes his high intelligence and obsessive attention to detail to his advantage. With his full-time nurse Sharona (Bitty Schram) as his Watson, Monk becomes a modern day Sherlock Holmes. Monk is given the hope that he may get his job back when his former boss, Captain Stottlemeyer (Ted Levine), brings him in at the request of the mayor to investigate the assassination attempt upon the mayor. It turned out that the assassin was not trying to kill the mayor, but a security guard that he wanted to silence.
From the opening scene (where Monk is investigating a girl's murder and wonders if he left his oven on) to the resolution of the premiere's storyline, "Monk" is pure delight. It manages to be funny without being mean spirited, and it has enough ongoing drama to make you want to tune in every week. I loved the "attention to detail" part, which was amazing (kind of like having a super power.) The funniest scene in the premiere was a scene where Monk crashes Sharona's first date with a new guy to tell her about some details of the case. He hears her date's load of bull, and proceeds to point out that he is a bold-faced liar (he wasn't a lawyer because he didn't go to the school that he claimed he went to because that school doesn't have a Magna Cum Laude; he claimed to sue a newspaper for slander, and newspapers are sued for libel, not slander.) I could see the conflict in his face when pointing out the lies, because he didn't want to ruin her date, but he wanted to warn her about this potentially bad guy. Maybe this will lead to a possible romance between Monk and Sharona?
If you have a desire to see a great show that would fit perfectly on a network during the fall season, watch "Monk." After you watch it, you will want to tune in every week (or at the very least set your VCR, since it does air on Fridays, and most non-TV geeks have a social life!) It may become compulsive viewing for you!
DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW!
Try to catch this show every week...
If a better show is on, tape this one...
If nothing else is on, maybe this will be good...
If this show is on, change the channel immediately!